March 3, 2013

Too Many People Are Getting College Degrees

Little while ago Apex commented on FreeMoneyFinance and pointed to this article Study: Nearly half are overqualified for their jobs

Here's a good bit out of that article : 

"Vedder, whose study is based on 2010 Labor Department data, says the problem is the stock of college graduates in the workforce (41.7 million) in 2010 was larger than the number of jobs requiring a college degree (28.6 million).
That, he says, helps explain why 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor's degrees vs. 1% in 1970. Among retail sales clerks, 25% had a bachelor's degree in 2010. Less than 5% did in 1970."
So first we have the data points that 41.7M people have college degrees yet only 28.6 jobs require degrees.   Based on that we'd conclude that 13.1M people with college degrees are working in jobs that didn't require the degree.   Thats 31%.  

BTW, I'll point out that I previously estimated that 29.1M jobs required degrees which is pretty close to their 28.6M number.

The points that 15% of taxi drivers and 25% of retail sales clerks have degrees is sobering.  Thats a lot of college educated retail sales clerks and cabbies.  Later the article also says 5% of janitors have degrees.

I'm not surprised by this data in general.  

I previously pointed out how almost half of grads regret their major choice.   I assume a lot of that is due to the harsh reality of the job market for many of those majors.

If we look at the degrees earned then you can see a lot of people getting social science, history, psychology, journalism, visual arts, etc

Now don't take this to mean that college isn't worth it or that you shouldn't go to college.    But I think people need to make a hard choice to decide if college is really worth it for them and if they do feel its warranted then make sure to carefully pick a major.

Side Note : I don't know why the article title claims 'nearly half' of people are overqualified.  Maybe thats covered in the actual study.


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